Killers heard cheering, singing in full recording of teen’s emergency call

In extended tape, additional loud noises are heard and perpetrators cry out, ‘Three!’

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Marwan Kawasme (left) and Amer Abu Aysha (right), suspected by Israel of kidnapping and killing three Israeli teens. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Marwan Kawasme (left) and Amer Abu Aysha (right), suspected by Israel of kidnapping and killing three Israeli teens. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The full recording of the desperate call made by one of the slain Israeli youths to the emergency police hotline on June 12 was released Wednesday, and in it the perpetrators can be heard singing in Arabic and whooping after loud noises — presumably gunshots — ring out in the car. The kidnappers are also heard excitedly crying out, “Three!”

The extended tape was published by the Ynet news website, less than a day after police lifted the gag order on a 49-second segment of the 2:09-minute-long call.

In the 49-second recording cleared for publication Monday, one of the teens, identified by Bat-Galim and Ofir Shaar as their son Gil-ad, can be heard whispering “They’ve kidnapped me” to the operator before the kidnappers shout in Arabic-accented Hebrew, “Keep your heads down.”

The operator tries to interact with the caller, but receives no answer. Seconds later, several loud noises, which are likely gunshots, are heard. Someone in the car is heard groaning.

The shorter recording ends with the sound of a Hebrew radio interview blaring in the car.

In the full recording, which is over two minutes long, the sound of the radio is interrupted by a voice on the phone — a different operator, this time a policewoman — who asks the caller where he is.

However, this operator, too, receives no answer. Instead, additional loud noises are heard.

When the noises die down, one of the kidnappers shouts “Three!” in Arabic. He and his accomplice can then be heard singing happily in Arabic and cheering, before the recording ends.

The officer called the number eight more times, but received three busy signals and reached voicemail five times.

Military sources said earlier that the kidnappers shot the three teenagers during the call, after they realized the Israelis had tried to alert the police.

Army Radio reported Tuesday that the three were shot during the phone call. It said blood and bullet casings were found in the car.

On Monday, an investigation of the incident found a slew of professional missteps in the immediate response to the call, resulting in the dismissal of four senior police officers.

Israel alleges that Hamas members Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha seized and then killed Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach, and is hunting for them.

Lazar Berman contributed to this report.

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